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Treatment

 
Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 1 - Introduction

Treatment Introduction
In recent years, due to earlier detection and more effective treatments, many women diagnosed with breast cancer overcome the disease and go on to live healthy lives.

Treatment Options Recommended By Your Health Care Provider
It’s important to understand the different types of treatment options available to you, because you are an integral part of your decision-making team. Your medical team will advocate certain treatments, but they will also seek your input.

They will recommend a plan based on:
- Stage of cancer and whether or not it has spread
- Type of cancer, and status of the estrogen, progesterone, or HER2/neu receptors found in the cancer cells
- Your age, health, and menstrual/menopausal stage
- And whether or not this is your first cancer treatment

In general, there are five treatment options, and most treatment plans include a combination of the following:
1) Surgery
2) Radiation
3) Hormone Therapy
4) Chemotherapy
5) Targeted Therapies

Some are local, targeting just the area around the tumor with surgery or radiation. Others are systemic, targeting your whole body with cancer-fighting agents such as chemotherapy.

Most women receive a combination of treatments, but each case is unique, and your medical team will work to find the most effective treatment for you.

Getting A Second Opinion
Even so, you may find yourself second-guessing their recommendations or suggested treatment plan. If you’re hesitant for any reason, you should get the opinion of another doctor before beginning treatment. Your doctor will not mind if you want a second opinion; some insurance plans even require it.

Again, don’t hesitate to ask your medical team questions. When it comes to getting a second opinion, you are your own best advocate.

Related Questions

  • robbin  slay Profile

    What is the average cost for breast cancer treatment?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Robin,
      It depends on what kind of treatment. I know with lumpectomy, radiation, and six chemotherapies, and many, many prescription medications, the cost for my treatment was over $200000. I was fortunate to have good insurance to cover it all.

      Comment
    • Mary Boone Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Too much..

      Comment
  • Jessica Fisher Profile

    I'm 29 recently diagnosed with IDC and the surgery option has been left up to me now and I'm struggling with the decision to have a lumpectomy or a preventative double mastectomy with full reconstruction. Suggestions?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 3A Patient
    over 8 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Jessica, I'm sorry to hear about your DCIS diagnosis. I have stage 3 IDC and can relate to what you're feeling. Have you had the BRACA testing performed? It tests to see if you carry the breast cancer gene. That would definitely help with your decision. There are many things such as if any...

      more

      Hi Jessica, I'm sorry to hear about your DCIS diagnosis. I have stage 3 IDC and can relate to what you're feeling. Have you had the BRACA testing performed? It tests to see if you carry the breast cancer gene. That would definitely help with your decision. There are many things such as if any other members of your immediate family has had cancer, etc. I have a later stage of cancer so I have decided to have a double mastectomy. But it's such a personal decision to make. There is a wonderful site called breastcancer.org. You have to be very careful about doing research online. There is a lot of misinformation out there. This is a very good site for cancer info and includes a support board with other women that have DCIS. Dr Susan Love's breast book is also very informative. Best wishes to you whatever you decide,

      Diana

      6 comments
    • Surf  Momma Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I also had the option of choosing what treatment to do. It did not sit right with me because I am not a doctor. Educate yourself in all options. Try and think of all scenarios and how you might feel with each. I choose a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. My surgery was just 2 weeks...

      more

      I also had the option of choosing what treatment to do. It did not sit right with me because I am not a doctor. Educate yourself in all options. Try and think of all scenarios and how you might feel with each. I choose a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. My surgery was just 2 weeks ago.

      Good luck

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My oncology nurse told me I shouldn't kiss my husband for 3 days following my chemo. Is this normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    almost 8 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Christina Archambault Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      I was told the same thing ! Also to close the toilet seat when flushing . It is because they have no positive facts yet but they think our chemo can go into some one else by kissing or if someone wAs to sit on our pee. Also use a condom of your having sex within 3 days of chemo .

      Comment
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I'm not familiar with this, but it's probably not a bad idea. "Swapping spit" can subject you to possible infection, and your white blood cell count drops after chemo. So kiss him/her on the cheek and wait the three days, would be my suggestion!

      Comment
  • Mary Anne Babicky-Bouton Profile

    Had to reschedule surgery. I need another needle biopsy of a new node, they're moving the department across the street. I was pretty pissy about it at first but really, what a waste of precious time. Thank you ladies for being here! I love y'all!

    Asked by anonymous

    stage_4 Patient
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Mary Anne,
      I TOTALLY understand your desire to "Get This Show On The ROAD!" These little detours are a pain but essential. Just a bit longer and you will get going on your treatment to get rid of this lousy disease. Hang in there darlin' Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I know time may be a concern but it is soooo important to have all the info so you don't have to go through some of the procedures more than once. Hang in there just a bit longer. This could be more blessing than curse. Have a peaceful day.

      Comment

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Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.

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